ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 02/03: Aluminium, tin defy drop on LME; US President Donald Trump to impose 232 tariffs on aluminium, steel; Northeast Asia becoming top caustic soda consumer

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Friday March 2.

Aluminium and tin were the only base metals on the London Metal Exchange to close the day in positive territory on Thursday March 1, with the rest of the complex diving. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how LME prices looked at Thursday’s close:

United States President Donald Trump announced in a meeting with US steel and aluminium executives that he intends to impose tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminium product imports respectively. In his comment, Trump did not indicate how long the tariffs would remain in place or which countries would be affected by the tariffs.

Northeast Asia is becoming the “price maker” for caustic soda, having developed into the top consumer of the raw material, research firm IHS Markit said in a presentation at Metal Bulletin’s 24th Bauxite & Alumina Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Meanwhile, a Noranda Bauxite and Alumina executive said in a presentation at the conference that the company is seeking to ship its bauxite directly from Jamaica in order to cut shipping costs.

Shanghai-bonded nickel stocks jumped in February on a firmly shut arbitrage window, while soft zinc demand has kept the price at a record high.

Chilean lithium producer SQM logged a 13% drop in its share price this week, due in part to fears of oversupply in the lithium market.

Russian pipemaker TMK expects to boost its earnings in 2018 by supporting growing US demand for oil country tubular goods.

The eurozone manufacturing sector’s purchasing managers’ index slipped to 58.6 in February from 59.6 the previous month.

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